The basics about air filters
Fiberglass air filters, commonly called “throwaway filters,” are designed to meet the minimum requirements of protecting your furnace or air conditioner and its components. The National Air Filtration Association no longer recommends using anything under a MERV 7 filter for home HVAC systems.
A pleated furnace filter is for those wanting to step up from a basic furnace filter. Pleated filters offer better protection against dust and other airborne particulate.
Merv Rating System
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) is a standardized and simplified filter efficiency rating system. The higher the rating, the higher the efficiency. Simply stated, a MERV 12 filter will remove smaller particles from the air than a MERV 8 filter.
Consumer can effectively compare one brand to another. The MERV rating only applies to efficiency.
- Merv 1-4 rated filters will collect most particles of 10 microns or larger. Typical applications of these filters are minimum residential filtration, Light commercials, and minimum equipment protection.
- Merv 5-8 rated filters are used to trap particles in the 3-10 micron range. Some uses are in industrial and commercial building, high-end residential units, and paint booth/spray and finishing areas.
- Merv 9-12 rated filters are used specifically for particles in the 1-3 micron range. High-end residences, upgraded industrial workplaces and commercial boiling frequently use these.
- Merv 13-16 rated filters remove particles in the 0.3-1 micron range and are used in hospitals, health care and high-end commercial buildings. They are also useful in telecommunication manufacturing facilities.
If allergies or asthma are your concern, we suggest you choose a minimum of a MERV 8 filter.